Poland vs. England: Young Players Who Have the Most at Stake

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12:  Tom Cleverley of England in action during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Group H qualifying match between England and San Marino at Wembley Stadium on October 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

England and Poland were not able to play their 2014 World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday because it was postponed due to rain, so the match will be played on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. ET.

When the match finally gets underway, there will be a number of young players for the Three Lions who have a lot at stake in this match.

These guys need to prove to manager Roy Hodgson that they not only belong in the team, but should also play an important role in the squad.

Let's look at three of these players.


Andy Carroll

The West Ham striker was in the England squad at Euro 2012, and even played a large portion of the team's quarterfinal defeat to Italy after coming onto the pitch as a substitute in the 60th minute.

Carroll's poor performance at Liverpool over the last year has not helped his chances of being a regular part of the England side, but his ability to score goals and be a force in the air on set pieces has given him an opportunity to prove that he can still play a large role in the squad.

A strong performance versus Poland could help him earn much more playing time in the future, and maybe even a starting striker spot alongside Wayne Rooney because Jermaine Defoe is a veteran player whose international career is probably winding down.

If Carroll wants to be a big part of his country's 2014 World Cup squad, he must perform well in the qualifying matches.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The young Arsenal star has impressed for England of late, and at just 21 years old, he has a chance to be part of the squad for a long time.

He has started all three World Cup qualifying matches for England thus far, and his ability to play well in a midfield or winger position adds some needed versatility to Hodgson's squad. Oxlade-Chamberlain also scored against San Marino last Friday.

A good performance against Poland, who are the strongest side that the Three Lions will play in qualifying, would really help Oxlade-Chamberlain secure a starting spot on the 2014 team.

He is one of England's brightest young stars and someone who could be a major part of the next World Cup squad.


Tom Cleverley

The Manchester United star needs a good performance to earn regular playing time because Hodgson has several quality midfielders who all have a case to receive a lot of time on the pitch.

With Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard battling injury, Cleverley has all the motivation he needs to impress Hodgson during qualifying.

Even though he doesn't have a lot of pace, Cleverley is a very effective player because of his playmaking skills. He's also not a liability defensively.

Expect Cleverley to be at the top of his game versus Poland, because this is a massive opportunity for him.